It's "bull..." and "pernicious nonsense" to suggest the New York Times is the liberal equivalent of Fox News, says Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal, because "Fox News presents the news in a way that is deliberately skewed to promote political causes, and the New York Times simply does not."
Rosenthal was one of several guests on a Freakonomics podcast back on February 16 (h/t Jim Romenesko) with the intriguing subject "How Biased Is Your Media?" (The 2006 book Freakonomics was the surprise best-selling collaboration between journalist Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt.)
Guest Ann Coulter advised the Times to combat liberal bias by hiring "ten conservatives," predicting it would break "the cocoon effect." She went on to say: "A conservative working at The Times would be able to tell them David Brooks isn’t a conservative....I really think it’s mostly a matter of not knowing any conservatives."
Later Dubner riled Rosenthal up by comparing the Times to Fox News. Rosenthal responded with an edited expletive.
HOST STEPHEN DUBNER: "There is a kind of, I think, common analog, I hope I’m not overstating it by saying that it’s common, that Fox News is to the right what The New York Times is to the left. I’m guessing you would see that as a false equivalency on a lot of levels, tell me if I’m right."
ANDREW ROSENTHAL: "I think it’s the word I want to use here, but even on Public Radio…"
DUBNER: "Please, we bleep so much on this show."
ROSENTHAL: "Well it begins with bull and ends in it and you can figure out what comes in between. I think it’s absolute pernicious nonsense. I think that there, you know, I’ve been at this newspaper a long time, I’ve been at a lot of newspapers. Fox News presents the news in a way that is deliberately skewed to promote political causes, and the New York Times simply does not. We make mistakes; we don’t achieve perfect balance. There is no such thing as perfect balance because there is such a thing as truth."
-- Clay Waters is Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch page.